Task force offers three proposals for homeless services in Salt Lake City

Posted at 10:13 PM, Nov 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-20 00:13:47-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- Not far from Salt Lake City’s Rio Grande district and homeless shelter there was a glimpse into what it could look like there in the future Thursday night.

“It’s an issue for the whole community,” said Sue Ativalu.

The Salt Lake City resident joined others at an open house to review potential plans for the city’s homeless services. After a meeting between the city and county, a task force addressing the need released three proposals.

One calls for a campus style homeless facility in Salt Lake City, while the other two would build scattered shelters in and outside of the city.

“I’m concerned about where they plan to move it,” explained Ativalu. “I think we all need to share in how to get the best services for our homeless community.”

But moving the shelter away from Rio Grande isn’t something the city is talking about, yet.

“I think we’re saying at this point there will be new facilities. Where those facilities will be located has not been determined,” said the city’s economic and community development director, Jill Remington Love.

Many businesses and residents near the shelter have complained about crowding and crime connected to it over the years, arguing it should be relocated. However, service providers working in the city have concerns about such a plan.

“We should improve the facilities that we have where we have them: That’s where they’re zoned to be,” said Glenn Bailey, executive director of the Crossroads Urban Center.

The proposals would cost millions to support, however, the city could not give a precise estimate Thursday. They expect a public-private partnership will fund the needs, including aid from the state. Currently, Salt Lake City and county mayors are working to request state dollars, but no set amount has been determined thus far.

Monday morning, city and county officials are expected to pick a proposal during a meeting at county council chambers. It begins at 8:00 a.m.